Facebook stops sending staff to help political campaigns

Facebook will not provide the same level of on-site strategic support it gave Donald Trump during the 2016 election to future presidential campaigns

The company and other major online ad sellers including Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O) Google and Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) have long offered free dedicated assistance to strengthen relationships with top advertisers such as presidential campaigns.

The social network was forced to answer questions from USA lawmakers about whether it was more supportive of Trump than his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, after Brad Parscale, the Republican's 2016 digital director, said he was able to get pro-Trump "embeds" from Facebook to help him on strategy.

The social network is the second largest online advertising broker, behind Google.

As for the scale of Facebook's involvement in the 2016 presidential election, Bloomberg reveals that Trump's campaign spent $44 million (£33 million) from June to November of that year.

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Google and Twitter did not respond on a request to comment over the move by Facebook and a question whether they too would pull back support.

Facebook said rival Hillary Clinton was offered the same support, but declined.

All the three online platforms of Facebook, Google and Twitter served the goal of "quasi-digital consultants" for the United States elections campaigns in the year 2016, as per the research was done in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and University of Utah. The campaign is not now working as closely with Facebook as it did in 2016, though it hasn't ruled out the possibility, according to a person familiar with Trump's strategy. The researchers found this in a paper published a year ago.

The companies helped campaigns navigate their services' ad systems and "actively" shaped campaign communication by suggesting what types of messages to direct to whom, the researchers stated. Trump's campaign accepted, and Clinton's didn't.

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